The Best Salary Negotiation Advice From Reddit

by Cassidy Rush

Advice From Reddit

If you've been living and breathing in 2015, you're probably familiar with the hot topic of salary negotiation and pay equity. It's been a serious discussion for good reason. Did you know that 57 percent of people have never negotiated a salary? If you're shocked by this statistic and feel you might be part of that majority, it's time to act. We turned to the users of one of the biggest, and definitely most opinionated, social media sites in the world to see what the masses have to say. Check out these salary negotiation stories and tactics from Redditors across the US.

Don't be Overly Grateful for the Offer
Redditor theysayso (a manager) says that when it comes to negotiating salary, you don't want to sound too grateful or over excited. For example, if you successfully negotiate an offer for a lot more than you had expected, be happy about it but don't break out the thank you cards. “Do not be grateful to me for the offer. I'm not giving you a gift, I'm asking you to help me.” What this really comes down to is understanding that your employer or potential employer is not doing you a favor, or giving you a leg up. They are paying you based on your skills and what they believe you will contribute to the company.

Managing Others? You Should Definitely Negotiate.
Everyone should negotiate their salary, but people who manage others should definitely negotiate their salary. Aalabrash says “any position where people are under you, anything is negotiable.” If you're in a managerial position of any kind, this applies to you. Having the responsibility of managing others alone can be excellent leverage for you in a negotiation situation. (Curious to see how managing people should influence your salary? PayScale can help.)

2 Weeks Vacation Is Nice, 3 Is Better.
One of the biggest misconceptions with salary negotiation is that there are things, other than salary, which are negotiable. Things like PTO, 401k, and working from home privileges are all benefits that you have the power to negotiate to your advantage. And all you have to do is ask. Tzadikv says “I have always been offered 2 weeks, asked for 3 and got I every time.” Thinking about starting a family? Perhaps you should request an extended maternity leave. Live far away with a terrible commute? Ask if you can work from home part of the week.

Think Of Yourself As A Third Person.
When you enter into a salary negotiation situation, buttermellow11 says to think about yourself in third person. Essentially, take yourself out of the center of the conversation and focus on the numbers. This also helps get rid of the emotion that inevitably comes with any salary negotiation. For women, this is crucial as the gender pay gap is wider than ever. If you're finding a hard time taking yourself out of the situation, try asking yourself “If this were my best friend, would I let her settle for this?” One study indicates that the negotiation gap seems to vanish for women when they negotiate for a friend, aka women will fight harder for their friend than they would themselves.

If They Retract Your Offer, You Dodged A Bullet
It is very rare for an employer to revoke a job offer if you attempt to negotiate. If this happens to you, it's going to sting a little, but it isn't a reflection on you. Employers rarely turn applicants away for simply asking to negotiate their pay. But when it happens, it's a bummer. AKF42 explains “I got an offer, did some research in my field and asked for a reasonable increase in a reasonable fashion, and they retracted the offer and said if I wasn't happy with what they were offering, then I wouldn't be happy in the job”. Honestly, the company was right, but the problem doesn't lie with AKF42. Retracting a job offer because you negotiate says more about the employer than you.

Know Your Realistic Salary Expectations
The last thing you need to know before you negotiate is your number. You don't want to go in and ask for too much, or regret it later by accepting a low offer. Take the PayScale salary survey to get to familiar with your salary. The more questions you answer, the more accurate your salary report will be. Keep this number in your head as you go into your negotiations and remember that by going into the situation with data instead of emotion, you have the power to negotiate anything!

Cassidy Rush

About the Author
Cassidy Rush is a Content Marketing Associate at PayScale. She earned her B.A. in strategic communication at Oklahoma State University. She is a reformed sorority girl, Pokemon Master and guild leader who now spends her time indulging in Family Guy, Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones.